Walking 9 miles a day every day might sound like a literal marathon to beginners. And, let’s face it, walking 9 miles is a lot (though still only a little more than one-third the distance of an actual marathon!).
With that said, you can work up to walking 9 miles a day with consistent training, and even if you don’t have the time for a daily 9-mile walk, if you build your endurance, walking 9 miles a day while on vacation or on the weekends can be an excellent workout and great way to take in your surroundings.
In this guide, we will provide tips and advice for walking 9 miles a day as well as what to expect from your walking workouts.
We will discuss:
- How Far Is 9 Miles?
- How Long Does It Take to Walk 9 Miles a Day?
- How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 9 Miles a Day?
- Benefits of Walking 9 Miles a Day
- How to Walk 9 Miles a Day
Let’s get started!
How Far Is 9 Miles?
For those more familiar with kilometers, 9 miles is approximately the same as 14 kilometers. Walking 9 miles a day sees you covering just over one-third the distance of a full marathon.
If you decide to walk on a standard 400-meter running track, you will need to walk just over 36 full laps to walk 9 miles.
How Long Does It Take to Walk 9 Miles a Day?
Even if you split up your walks throughout the day, walking 9 miles a day takes a lot of time.
Walkers who can maintain a very brisk 4.0 miles per hour pace (15 minutes per mile), will still spend 2 hours and 15 minutes to cover 9 miles per day. Moreover, walking 9 miles a day at a more leisurely pace of 3.0 miles per hour (20 minutes per mile) will require a full 3 hours to finish the distance.
These are reasonable approximations for most walkers based on the evidence-based average walking speed of most adults.
The table below shows approximately how long it takes to walk 9 miles at different walking paces:
|Walking Speed (mph)||Walking Pace (min/mile)||How Long Does It Take to Walk 9 Miles? (hours: min : sec)|
How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 9 Miles a Day?
One of the benefits of walking 9 miles a day is that you burn a lot of calories, which can be great for walkers who are trying to lose weight.
Plus, the more you weigh, the higher your energy expenditure. You’ll also burn more calories walking if you pick up the pace, walk up an incline, or both.
Wearing a heart rate monitor can give you a more accurate estimation of how many calories you burn walking, but even if you don’t have one, you can calculate a ballpark figure by using the metabolic equivalents (METs) for walking at different speeds.
The Compendium of Physical Activities reports different METs for various walking speeds and incline grades.
Using these METs values, you can calculate the number of calories burned walking 9 miles at various speeds and weights using the following equation to determine energy expenditure:
Calories Burned Per Minute = METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200
Then, multiply this calculated value by the number of minutes it takes you to walk 9 miles.
Below, we’ve created a chart that uses these METs values for common walking speeds and conditions to calculate the approximate number of calories burned walking 9 miles a day for different body weights.
|Calories Burned Walking 9 Miles a Day at 2.8-3.2 mph||Calories Burned Walking 9 Miles a Day at 3.5 mph||Calories Burned Walking 9 Miles a Day at 4.0 mph||Calories Burned Walking 9 Miles a Day at 4.5 mph||Calories Burned Walking 9 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 1-5% Grade||Calories Burned Walking 9 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 6-15% Grade|
Benefits of Walking 9 Miles a Day
Walking 9 miles a day will get you in great shape by developing your mental and physical stamina, strengthening your heart and lungs, and building bone density and muscular strength.
Some of the top health benefits of walking 9 miles a day include:
- Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and the risk of premature all-cause mortality
- Strengthening your heart, lungs, legs, and core muscles
- Preparing you for other endurance events like marathon running and trail running by giving you “time on your feet.”
- Providing a low-impact aerobic workout
- Boosting your mood, confidence, and self-esteem
- Decreasing stress and anxiety
- Improving blood sugar regulation
- Decreasing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- Improving cognitive function and working memory
How to Walk 9 Miles a Day
Due to the time commitment, walking 9 miles a day might not be your daily exercise plan, but it can be a great ongoing weekend workout when you might have more free time to exercise.
There are different approaches to walking 9 miles a day. For example, some people enjoy a long 9-mile hike or walk once a week, and do additional shorter walks on the other days.
Other highly-active walkers might walk 9 miles a day most days of the week, choosing to either break up the daily distance into several shorter walks or to push their endurance and walk 9 miles at once.
There are no right or wrong approaches to walking 9 miles a day.
However, depending on the logistics of your schedule, it might be more feasible to split up the distance and walk 3 miles three times a day for a walk 4-5 miles twice a day.
If you find yourself getting bored on longer walks, you can make them varied by mixing in intervals of brisk walking or adding the incline if you’re on a treadmill.
For example, if you are walking 9 miles a day in a single stretch, you can structure the walk by taking the first 2 miles at a comfortable warm-up pace and then alternating between walking 1 mile hard and 1 mile easy for the next 7 miles.
You can also do lots of shorter intervals like one minute of brisk walking followed by one minute at a conversational pace.
The goal should be to keep your mind engaged to prevent boredom.
Mixing up your speed will also challenge different muscles and present slightly different stressors, which can reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
It’s also important to hydrate and fuel your body for your long walks. You will need to carry a water bottle or wear a hydration pack or fuel belt.
If you are walking 9 miles a day at once, bring energy-dense snacks such as trail mix or energy bars to keep your energy levels stable.
After your walks, stretch and refuel in the way you would after a long run. Even though the intensity of walking is comparatively less, 9 miles is 9 miles–it takes a toll on the body.
Remember, you don’t have to go from zero to walking 9 miles a day every day. Gradually increase the distance you walk every day, or just focus on accumulating a total of 9 miles over the entire day.
Stick with it! Your body and mind will be fitter and healthier than you can even imagine.
If you are looking for different types of challenges in addition to walking, check out our variety of 30-Day Fitness Challenges.